Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

If mums are too posh to push then let them pay up

Victoria Beckham holding her daughter Harper Seven

Victoria Beckham has a lot to answer for. By opting for, and making fashionable Caesarean delivery (along with a number of other celebrity mums) she's prompted that line about some expectant mothers being too Posh to push.

Now even Edwin Poots is on their case.

Health Minister Poots wants to limit the number of unnecessary C sections being carried out here. In future he says, mothers who go for elective Caesarean (ie they don't require one for medical reasons) should have to pay. And at over £3,000 a time this won't come cheap.

It will certainly save the NHS a packet but should that be our priority?

Having gone through 'natural' childbirth, I can well understand why some women might lean towards the high-tech, at-least-partly anaesthetised option.

But the clincher has to be that statistics show Caesareans to be more dangerous for both the women and their babies. So this isn't just about NHS savings.

It will undoubtedly save money though. Money that can go to other arguably more deserving areas. Minister Poots (I don't always agree with him) has got this one right.

But, as with every area of health care, it is important that some common sense is shown. If a woman is genuinely scared of childbirth will there be some flexibility in the rules?

And we should note too that the current popularity of C-sections isn't just down to women's fears. Some doctors are reported to be quick to recommend it because it fits more tidily into their busy schedules.

Not so much too Posh to push, then - more too pushed to promote the less convenient alternative.

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